Gwen shares her PMS/premenstrual syndrome experiences with the EmpowHer community.
My name is Gwen. I think that the first time I ever realized that I had PMS was when I was maybe in high school. At that time, I remember just feeling really moody and kind of sad during the week or so before my menstrual cycles started. I remember thinking maybe I was depressed, and I was not quite sure that it would go away, and people did not really talk about PMS during that time. I guess because that was in the 80s, and it was not something that people talked about a lot and especially not high school girls talked about it.
I think that PMS became more of an issue for me after I had my children, and I noticed a big difference because I breastfed my children for extended periods of time. And so I went without having a menstrual cycle for two and two and half years. So I did not have PMS during those times, and it was something that was very helpful to me as a mother to just have a little relief from that, but then when I resumed my menstrual cycle, the PMS came back.
And, I do not know if it just increased because of my age or if it was because I was dealing with children. I found them very challenging when I was having PMS, and I know that when I resumed my menstrual cycle after I had my first daughter, I was just crazy agitated. It is kind of more of my symptoms now. When I was younger, I was more emotional and I might be more likely to cry. As I have gotten older, my symptoms have been more agitation and just kind of a slight personality change.
But, I just remember I was very agitated with my daughter and had very little patience with her, and three days later my menstrual cycle resumed, and it seemed very dramatic to me because I had not had a menstrual cycle for two years plus the pregnancy. So I really became aware that I was experiencing PMS.
One of the most dramatic things for me is that I am a very social person. I really enjoy going out with friends, spending time with people, and when I am in that PMS phase, I am much less social. I do not want to meet friends; I just want to stay home, but then being at home makes me feel anxious and I want to go do something else. I am not comfortable; I am just much more agitated.
I guess I sought help from a therapist and have gotten help that way and I have tried different herbal things, some of which seemed to help a little bit. I have also used anxiety medication, and that seems to be very helpful, but I think awareness is a big part of it, too. Just being aware that, okay, this is that time period, and having some awareness about why I am feeling the way I am and just knowing that it is temporary and does not last forever.
Another thing is that I feel unattractive. I am real critical of myself and my body when I am in the PMS zone, so I have to remind myself of that. I look at myself very critically and I have to remind myself that is PMS, it is not, I do not hate the way I look and I do not hate my body. It is PMS.
View More Videos On PMS/Premenstrual Syndrome: